Voter fraud vs. Election fraud in the U.S.

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Voter fraud vs. Election fraud in the U.S.

There has been much said in the past week about voter fraud and election fraud since Donald Trump refused to commit to accepting the results of the election at face value during the third debate.

There hasn't been a lot of discussion on this topic here so I thought I'd start one.

Tomorrow I will include some recent examples and evidence to demonstrate that both voter and election fraud are possibilities in the upcoming U.S. general election. Certainly it should be understood that both parties will attempt to rig the election in any way they can. This is not intended to point the finger at either a specific party or specific candidate. This is merely for discussion of what they are, the differences between them, and what can be done to stop them.

Whether you support Orange "the Octopus" Hitler or Hillary "the Hawk" Clinton, voter fraud and election fraud should be considered serious issues and a significant threat to the already limited power of the 99%. I shouldn't have to say this here, but even if it benefits your team this time, it won't always. Free and fair democratic elections are a privilege, not a right, and we all must do our part to ensure that liberal democracies remain such.

For tonight, I only want to briefly speak about the difference between voter fraud and election fraud. Again, tomorrow I will post recent examples of both as well as examples of how it may occur in the upcoming general election.

Voter fraud is where a voter, either as an individual or as part of a group, votes illegally. This can happen when a person votes for someone else, voters in a different riding (or state in the case of the U.S.), votes when not eligible, or votes multiple times. For those who are aware of the O'Keefe videos, the second one is an example of alleged/attempted voter fraud. In the context of the 2016 general election, I personally do not expect voter fraud to have a material impact on the outcome of the election (which is not intended to excuse it).

Election fraud, by comparison, is where the votes are counted incorrectly. This can happen with paper ballots but should be detected upon audit. This is much harder to detect in districts that use only electronic voting with no paper trail. Unlike with voter fraud, if a candidate or other actor can control the machine that counts the votes, the only limit to the extent of the fraud is what is believable. I believe that if voter fraud or election fraud occurs to a significant extent in the U.S. election, that this is how it will happen.

I look forward to making the case tomorrow.